Entrants at higher education providers with high, medium and low entry tariffs

Published

Contents
  1. 1. Main facts and figures
  2. 2. By ethnicity
  3. 3. By tariff level of provider
  4. 4. Methodology
  5. 5. Data sources
  6. 6. Download the data

1. Main facts and figures

  • overall in 2016/17, there were 762,380 entrants for whom ethnicity was known at UK higher education providers – 76.6% were White, 10.4% were from Asian backgrounds, 7.7% were Black, 3.8% had Mixed ethnicity, and 1.6% were from the Other ethnic group
  • when higher education providers were divided into 3 roughly equal groups according to the number of UCAS points achieved by entrants (referred to here as ‘high’, ‘medium’ and ‘low’ entry tariffs), this data shows that 80.5% of entrants at ‘high’ tariff providers were White and 4.1% were Black
  • 48.5% of Black entrants went to low tariff providers, while 26.1% of White entrants did so
Things you need to know

The statistics presented are from a bespoke extract of data from the HESA student record. They are not currently published by HESA. The data refers to undergraduate and postgraduate students who started a course at a university, college or other higher education providers in the UK.

The data only includes students whose normal residence before starting their higher education qualification was in the UK, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. (Guernsey and Jersey in this context refer to the Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey, which includes their smaller islands.)

Entrants from outside the UK are not asked to report their ethnic origin and are therefore not included.

What the data measures

The data includes students enrolling on:

  • first year undergraduate studies – usually a bachelor's degree like a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or Bachelor of Law (LLB)
  • postgraduate studies – usually a master’s degree like a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc), Master of Engineering (MEng) or Master of Law (LLM)

Students must have been UK residents before enrolling onto their qualification.

Higher education institutions have been grouped into 3 roughly equal groups according to the average number of UCAS points achieved by entrants. The groups are referred to as ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ tariff providers.

Institutions in the ‘Other’ tariff group are specialist higher education institutions that offer 60% or more of their courses in 1 or 2 subjects.

UCAS score data is based on the average UCAS points scores of undergraduate students aged 21 and under in the HESA student record.

The ethnic categories used in this data

The Higher Education Statistics Agency collects 11 detailed categories of ethnicity.

The ethnic category groups included in the White group differ between England and Wales, and Scotland and Northern Ireland. To present data for the whole of the UK, the statistics here have been aggregated into the 5 broad categories used in the 2011 Census (for the years from 2012/13 onwards)

The broad ethnic groups are:

  • Asian or Asian British
  • Black or Black British
  • Mixed
  • White
  • Other

The White ethnic group includes:

  • White Scottish (used by Scottish higher education providers)
  • Irish Traveller (used by Northern Irish higher education providers), Gypsy or Traveller
  • other White background (used by Scottish higher education providers)

HESA also collects data of students whose ethnicity is categorised as unknown or not applicable. This includes students:

  • who did not live in the UK before starting their course
  • whose place of residence before starting their course is unknown (2014/15 only)
  • who refused to give ethnic information

2. By ethnicity

Percentage and number of entrants to qualifications at low, medium or high tariff higher education providers, by ethnicity
High Medium Low Other All tarifffs
Ethnicity % Number of entrants % Number of entrants % Number of entrants % Number of entrants % Number of entrants
Asian 9.9 25,905 11.7 28,425 10.7 23,120 4.2 1,770 10.4 79,220
Black 4.1 10,760 7.3 17,795 13.1 28,390 3.7 1,575 7.7 58,520
Mixed 4.1 10,700 3.4 8,295 3.9 8,505 2.6 1,105 3.8 28,605
White 80.5 210,370 75.9 183,870 70.4 152,525 88.6 37,200 76.6 583,965
Other 1.4 3,700 1.6 3,905 1.9 4,145 0.8 320 1.6 12,070
Unknown N/A* 6,420 N/A* 4,440 N/A* 3,960 N/A* 910 N/A* 15,735

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

For this data, higher education providers were divided into 3 roughly equal sized groups according to the number of UCAS points achieved by entrants (referred to here as ‘high’, ‘medium’ and ‘low’ entry tariffs).

This data shows that:

  • in 2016/17, 76.6% of entrants onto higher education qualifications in the UK were White, 10.4% were from Asian backgrounds, 7.7% were Black, 3.8% had Mixed ethnicity, and 1.6% were from the Other ethnic group
  • White students made up 80.5% of entrants to high tariff providers, compared with 70.4% of entrants to low tariff providers
  • Black students made up 4.1% of entrants to high tariff providers, compared with 13.1% of entrants to low tariff providers

3. By tariff level of provider

Percentage and number of each ethnic group entering a qualification at low, medium and high tariff providers
High Medium Low Other
Ethnicity % Number of entrants % Number of entrants % Number of entrants % Number of entrants
Asian 32.7 25,905 35.9 28,425 29.2 23,120 2.2 1,770
Black 18.4 10,760 30.4 17,795 48.5 28,390 2.7 1,575
Mixed 37.4 10,700 29.0 8,295 29.7 8,505 3.9 1,105
White 36.0 210,370 31.5 183,870 26.1 152,525 6.4 37,200
Other 30.7 3,700 32.3 3,905 34.4 4,145 2.7 320
Unknown 40.8 6,420 28.2 4,440 25.2 3,960 5.8 910

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

For this data, higher education providers were divided into 3 roughly equal sized groups according to the number of UCAS points achieved by entrants (referred to here as ‘high’, ‘medium’ and ‘low’ entry tariffs).

This data shows that:

  • in 2016/17, 48.5% of Black entrants went to low tariff providers, while 26.1% of White entrants did so
  • 37.4% of entrants with Mixed ethnicity went to high tariff providers (the highest percentage of all ethnic groups where ethnicity was known), followed by 36.0% of White entrants; 18.4% of Black entrants went to high tariff providers, the lowest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • 35.9% of entrants from Asian backgrounds went to medium tariff providers (the highest percentage of all ethnic groups), followed by 32.3% of entrants from the Other ethnic group

4. Methodology

Higher education providers were grouped according to their range of courses and the average tariff scores of their undergraduate students. A provider’s entry tariff is the average UCAS points score entrants achieved from A levels or equivalent.

‘Specialist’ higher education providers were defined as those that offer 60% or more of their courses in one or two subjects (based on full-time equivalence and academic cost centres).

The remaining providers were grouped into 3 similar-sized groups according to the average entry tariff scores of their entrants, these being high, medium or low. The tariff score data was based on the average tariff scores of undergraduate entrants aged 21 and under in the HESA student record.

These statistics have been prepared from the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s (HESA) student record.

Ethnicity of the student is recorded on the basis of their own self-assessment. In the case of full-time undergraduates, the information is captured as part of the admissions process through UCAS. For other student groups the information is captured directly by the higher education provider.

Rounding

Student numbers are rounded to the nearest 5 students. Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.

Related publications

UCAS Undergraduate End of Cycle Reports

Who's studying in HE?

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

Rounding and suppression to anonymise statistics

5. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

Higher Education Statistics Agency

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The Higher Education Statistics Agency has been collecting student information (known as the ‘student record’) since 1994/95.

The data it contains is used extensively by various stakeholders for higher education:

  • funding
  • performance indicators
  • publications (including UNISTATS)
  • league tables

The student record collects individual data about students including:

  • the student’s entry profile and personal characteristics
  • module and course-level data
  • funding information
  • qualifications awarded

6. Download the data

First year entrants to HE by tariff of provider - Spreadsheet (csv) 7 KB

This file contains the following variables: First year entrants to HE institutions by tariff, Ethnic group, Ethnicity_type, Academic year, Tariff marker, count, Value, Value_note